Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A thanks to some, but certainly not all

There are people among us that make the world a better place. Teachers that take the time to work with our kids, doctors that spend extra hours trying to figure out solutions to problems that have yet to be solved and community leaders that step in for the common good. As a cyclist, my world involves bicycles. I suppose that goes without saying, but I mention it because in making my personal world a better place I have to consider the people inside the bicycling industry alongside those that contribute to the general population (i.e. teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, etc). So it is, without any obligation, my pleasure to relay to you a short list of the people that I believe are making the immediate cycling world a better place. While I will obviously not hit all of them on the first try (I apologize if I missed somebody), the following persons have immediately affected, for the positive, the growth and success of the Almanzo Project.

Hurl Everstone
Eric Leugers
Mike Vanderschuren
Bjorn Christiansen
Andy Tetmeyer
Jeff Frane + this
Adam Ziskin
Jim Thill
Bob Gritman
Andy Lambert (used to be this)
Kid Reimer
Kelly Mac
Devin O'Brien
Ryan Carlson
Brent Gale
Brad Wilson
Joshua Kruck
B Rose
B Rad

These are just a few of the people inside the cycling world that deserve a round of applause. They are all Minnesota people with big hearts and right minds. They are shop owners, designers, lovers of all things bikes and otherwise. They are our riding partners and our neighbors. If you see them around, be sure and tell them thank you...for me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Closing Arguments

In 1983 Art Forum published an article in which Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) stated, "People pay to see others believe in themselves." I mention this because it is a phrase I have gone back to time and time again in working toward creating and maintaining the Almanzo 100. It has taken me a little more than a week and well over 1000 solo miles in the car to begin to decompress from the weekend of May 13th, 14th and 15th. As some of you may know, during the race I was participating in my own endurance event in that I had only had a total of ten hours of sleep over a four day period. I have poured every ounce of my life into this event and I have never really been able to comprehend just exactly what the whole thing means. This week I think I may have gotten a little bit closer to understanding.

What is Almanzo? This is a question I get so frequently. So often in fact that I have formulated my very own short answer, to which the questioner leaves with less than they came. The answer I give is this, "It's just a bike race". In thinking about that answer, reading the reports from some of those that rode last weekend and examining the photos from those that captured images during the event, I am afraid I might need to seriously reconsider my approach to the question that is, "What is Almanzo?".

You see, when this whole thing got started in 2007 I really didn't know much about organizing bike races. I had organizing nailed down in that I had spent the better part of my adult life to that point meticulously arranging things and making sure that everything was just so. Organizing was easy. Bike racing, however, was the complicated part. I didn't have a network of cyclists to pull from. I didn't have a giant resumé that would qualify me as the right person for the job. I was a nobody for all intents and purposes. A nobody with an idea that claimed that a race should and could be nothing more than that, just a race. A test of man against himself. A game played on a field where the only benefactors are those that show up to compete. I had no idea at the time what would become of all of this.

I didn't know then that to watch a man complete a task that had previously been insurmountable to him would end up being so gratifying. I have ridden in these events. I have ridden in a lot of events. I have fathered children, remodeled homes and even come close to death. I have lived a hard life and I have enjoyed the liberties of a soft one. I have traveled and I have stayed home. In my short 33 years on this planet I have been a witness to many things, but none so powerful as watching a man believe in himself.

For the sake of this article I will tell you that I have struggled with self-doubt for the better part my entire life and I do not believe I am alone in that. I have spent many sleepless nights asking myself questions like, "Is it all really worth it?" I have come so close, on so many occasions, to pulling the plug on this entire affair. I certainly have my shortcomings.

Fast forward to Saturday the 21st of May. A sleep deprived journey to the Great Northwoods for the Cheq 100 left me fighting to stay awake behind the wheel, making a wrong turn and ultimately showing up late as a DNS for the event. Barely making the start line as a witness for the race's grand departure, I quickly offered my assistance afterward to the event organizers. They politely offered me directions to the Fire Tower climb and said they would meet me there. They left, I left and again I was all alone with nothing but my thoughts.

As I made my way along the rocky, rutted and branch littered fire roads that lead to the highest point in the forest I again thought about the Almanzo and the role it played in the bigger cycling picture. It wasn't until I had been standing in the company of my organizing peers and watching the first riders approach the summit that it occurred to me; The Almanzo, like the Cheq 100, is about people believing in themselves. No more, no less.

Rewind, on May 14th, I stood in the cold rain and wind and watched as more than 300 riders from all different backgrounds take off into what were obviously miserable conditions. On May 14th I watched more than 300 riders believe in themselves. What is happening with grassroots cycling here in Minnesota and throughout the Upper Midwest is incredible. As an event organizer and rider I am a firsthand witness to the power that these events hold. As a human being I am a witness to the enormous potential that comes with believing in oneself. That is what Almanzo is. It is an opportunity for people to see the past, imagine the future, capture the moment and believe in themselves.

I am genuinely humbled by the way the last 5 years have gone. I am forever indebted to the riders that have come to Almanzo and believed in me when I didn't have the capacity to do it myself. I am grateful for the willingness of others to give up their time and contribute their efforts to making sure each event goes without a hitch. I am proud to stand at the finish line and offer my hand to those that complete. I am beholden to all for the opportunity to be a part of, rather than apart from.

Thank you to everyone that has made my Almanzo experience a heartfelt one.

Chris Skogen

*photo by craig lindner

Monday, May 16, 2011

I was dared.

I was dared to do this. I swear.

2011 Results

Words cannot describe the accomplishment. The windows have been tossed out and all listed below have been given full credit and will forever be listed as official Almanzo & Royal finishers.

Almanzo 100 Finishers:

1. Brian & Kim Eppen - 6:00hrs (Overall - Tandem Overall)
2. Jim Bell - 6:16 (First Men's Overall)
3. Brian Koeneman - 6:16
4. Brandon Krawczyk - 6:33
5. Devin O'Brien - 6:34
6. Keith Bianchi - 6:42
7. Paul Krumrich - 6:42
8. Sam Beveridge - 6:42
9. Dirk Rettig - 6:48
10. Roger Parenteau - 6:51 (Single Speed)
11. Scott Hippen - 7:04
12. Nick Oswald - 7:05
13. Jason Gaikowski - 7:05
14. David Mainguy - 7:06
15. Dan Glisczinski - 7:10
16. Hurl - 7:16
17. Ben Cunningham - 7:17
18. Kevin Jargo - 7:20
19. Luke Holtan - 7:20
20. Bryan Brinkman - 7:21
21. Mike Dunlap - 7:21
22. Jason Stukel - 7:23
23. Geoffrey Schley - 7:24
24. Brad Chuck Turbo Wagon Sween - 7:25
25. Nick Evanoff - 7:25
26. Scott Sherman -7:25
27. Josh Schwantes - 7:25
28. Jeff Dullard - 7:30
29. Darcy Sanford - 7:31 (Women's Overall)
30. Steve Laurel - 7:39
31. Paul Inkala - 7:39
32. Jason Novak - 7:46
33. Levi Ortmann - 7:46
34. Al Iverson - 7:47
35. Boyd Hanson - 7:52
36. Patrick Geary - 7:52
37. Martin Rudnick - 7:55
38. James Goblirsch - 8:00
39. Greg Goblirsch - 8:00
40. Phil Clark - 8:08
41. Mark Holtan - 8:08
42 Ryan Elsbernd - 8:08
43. Kim Reed - 8:08
44. Peter Koski - 8:09
45 Innokenty - 8:16
46. Steve Fleagle - 8:17
47. Jeff Burnett - 8:17
48. Brad Patty - 8:17
49. Matt McKinney - 8:17
50. Gregorio - 8:19
52. Todd Sample - 8:20
52. Curtis Ness - 8:33
53. Grant Larvick - 8:33
54. Sue Schroeder - 8:35
55. David Price - 8:36
56. Aaron Peterson - 8:43
57. Graeme Webster - 8:44
58. Andy Thieman - 8:44
59. Ben Cox - 8:44
60. Ed Prosser - 8:46
61. Andy Johnson - 8:46
62. Robert Faceplant - 8:48
63. Dave & Dee Mable - 8:49
64. Matt Johnson - 8:49
65. Tostin DeYoe - 8:50
66. Jim Jenkins - 8:51
67. Terry McGuire - 8:51
68. Rollin Marquette - 8:52
69. Ted Claussen - 8:53
70. Evan Tweed - 8:58
71. Amy Kippley - 9:00
72. Mike Leiss - 9:00
73. Peter Leugers - 9:00
74. Nat McIntyre - 9:01
75. Craig Theodore - 9:02
76. John Marshall - 9:02
77. William Bates - 9:02
78. Ross Hargrove - 9:05
79. Robin Bennett - 9:06
80. Jeremiah Carter - 9:06
81. Sally Bell - 9:08
82. Christopher Tassava - 9:08
83. Mark Moehle - 9:13
84. Greg Tischer - 9:16
85. Andrew Karre - 9:18
86. Ross Karre - 9:18
87. Mark Wagar - 9:23
88. Bruce Pletka - 9:27
89. Steven Bergman - 9:28
90. Larry Kirch - 9:34
91. Todd Fischer - 9:36
92. Ryan Olthouse - 9:38
93. Jeff Jacobi - 9:38
94. Rob Green - 9:43
95. Dan Utoft - 9:45
96. Mike Dressen - 9:45
97. Rick Moore - 9:45
98. Bryan Dougherty - 9:48
99. Linda Carlson - 9:52
100. Charlie Johnson - 9:53
101. Kelly Mac - 9:54
102. Mark Emery - 9:54
103. Chris Warren - 9:55
104. Jose Pascual - 9:55
105. John Krolak - 10:00
106. Matt Herz - 10:01
107. Carl Besser - 10:02
108. Sage Tauber - 10:09
109. Jameson Wiltermood - 10:12
110. Craig Rittler - 10:16
111. Jason Hicks - 10:16
112. Nicholas Garbis - 10:16
113. Andrew Curtis - 10:16
114. John Ostmoe - 10:16
115. Steve Bailey - 10:20
116. Dustin Harfors - 10:21
117. Sven Hoaglund - 10:21
118. Ed Matthiesen - 10:22
119. Craig Gustfason - 10:23
120. Steve Schoo - 10:23
121. Jim Smith - 10:23
122. Bradley Bridges - 10:27
123. Sara Teig - 10:27
124. Tara Brick - 10:28
125. Dana Hendrickson - 10:30
126. Mark Benischek - 10:30
127. Tim Bauer - 10:33
128. Justin Dittmer - 10:34
129. Justin Edge - 10:34
130. Eric Reeve - 10:40
131. James O'Connor - 10:40
132. Jesse - 10:44
133. Jeremy Williams - 10:44
134. Jeff Sanders - 10:44
135. Jeff Gorzek - 10:51
136. Kekoa Rosa - 11:01
137. Matt & Renee Swanson - 11:01
138. Dan DeGeest - 11:01
139. Laurel Dareren - 11:03
140. Casey Martin - 11:15
141. Tom McBeain - 11:25
142. Brent Bruessel - 11:29
143. Tom Moran - 11:29
144. Len Schmid - 11:31
145. Kurt Adams - 11:35
146. David Gasperino - 11:35
147. Anthony Gasperino - 11:35
148. Dave Weber - 11:35
149. Ryan Fonkert - 11:44
150. Shaun Meehan - 11:44
151. Morgan Blum - 11:44
152. Michael Williams - 13:40
153. ????

Royal 162 Finishers:

1. Jason Buffington - 10:43
2. Joe Meiser - 10:43
3. Jim Cochran - 11:04
4. Corey Godfrey - 11:16
5. Drew Wilson - 11:47
6. Ben Doom - 12:05
7. Charlie Farrow - 12:18
8. Robert Held - 12:22
9. John Struchynski - 12:22
10. Andy Tetmeyer - 12:32
11. Rafal Doloto - 12:45
12. Justin Schuetz - 12:49
13. Dan Strese - 12:54
14. Mike Johnson - 12:54
15. Josh Kruck - 12:55
16. Rick Blackford - 13:24
17. Ben Oney - 13:43
18. Brian Hall - 13:47
19. Ben Wacker - 14:16
20. Aaron Gammel - 14:16
21. James Bialis - 14:43
22. Malcolm Tassi - 15:30
23. Don Daly - 19:00
24. Craig Irving - 19:00
25. Zach Lamb - 19:00

*There are six finishers between the Almanzo and the Royal that finished after the official cutoff time. I have decided to leave there fate to you, the reader.

*Pictures soon as well as info about getting in on the second and final jersey pre-order.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rolling Out

Something to take the bad taste out of our mouths.

Untitled from Chris Skogen on Vimeo.

Not the email I wanted to get today.

Yesterday morning there was a bike ride that road by our farm that is north of county 4 between Chatfield and Spring Valley. A number of these riders stopped and took a break in my yard. I thought it was a little strange that they felt so comfortable sitting on private property, my front yard. Since they were not doing any harm and my dogs were in the house I let it go, but then some started using my mailbox to rest their bikes up against. Soon more riders would stop and use my yard as a resting stop. One of these riders even urinated directly across from my driveway as my children watched him from my front window. There is a field drive 50 feet from my driveway lined with trees that would have been more appropriate. I do not know if this was the almanzo ride because I haven't seen a map of the ride, but if it is would you please remind your riders to respect private property. I really felt that it was inappropriate behavior I witnessed.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Course Conditions (as of 5/11/11)

Royal 162:

There is a portion of the Royal 162 that will be an out & back. This section (can be viewed here) will include close to two miles of off-road riding with dismounts. The off-road portion is on private property that is being loaned to us for the day. Please treat it with respect or I will personally kick your ass (the landowner has been very generous in allowing us to use their land and this is a relationship I will not disrupt).

Both Events:

I was out on parts of the course yesterday and the roads look pretty good. There are some soft spots and some portions of new rock, but it still looked like there were pretty good lines throughout. Please be careful on some of the bigger descents, as they do have some new rock on them which can make them a bit sketchy.

The course will be marked in places the I think could use a little help. I will be placing a small cedar plank with the Almanzo "A" burned into it and an arrow pointing in the direction of travel. These planks will also be marked with little flags (think utility marking flags). Please note that these markers will not however substitute your cue sheets and that you must follow the cues exactly to navigate the course.

On the water crossing:

You'll be crossing it in both events. This is what it looks like as of May 11th.

2011 Water Crossing from Chris Skogen on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10th, 2011

Royal Riders:

Your event leaves sharply at 7:00am and will be cutoff at 10:00pm. Ride safe and be smart, polite and courteous. We have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on a region that otherwise might not get to see cycling in this fashion.

Almanzo Riders:

Your event leaves sharply at 9:00am and will be cutoff at 9:00pm. At approximately 8:55am, I am going to ask everyone to sing Happy Birthday to my son(he'll be five; we did it last year and it seems to take the edge off quite a bit). Ride safe and be smart, polite and courteous. We have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on a region that otherwise might not get to see cycling in this fashion.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


What to expect on race day:

FROM THE ROUTE: These are challenging courses. 100 miles is no small task (and 162 is certainly nothing to balk at) and when you ride them on gravel and they become something entirely different. It is going to punish you, but it is definitely manageable if you pace yourself and understand the big picture (portions of which are laid out below).

• There is one town near both routes. Preston is located near the 40-mile mark. The city of Preston has everything anyone might need to refuel, call it quits, etc. This is the only community along the Almanzo 100 route (the Royal passes through Harmony near mile 65) with retail outlets that can fill your supply needs. AFTER MILE 40 YOU WILL BE ON YOUR OWN WITH NO PLACE TO REFUEL UNTIL THE FINISH LINE.

• There is cell phone coverage for the better part of the course. The areas that are not covered by cell phone towers are typically the valleys, but if you get to the summit of a climb YOU SHOULD GET CELL PHONE COVERAGE.

• As you re-enter (the finish) the city of Spring Valley, you will be traveling on busy, open access city streets, act accordingly. Mind the cars and be respectful. A free race (or any race) isn’t worth a crash or dare I say something worse.

: It is best to look at riding 100 or 162 miles in one go the same as you would look at running a full marathon. While it is definitely something that the average person could complete without any training, the pain and suffering that would come along with it would not be worth the effort.

• Train.

• Ride a lot. Ride to work. Ride to school. Get out and ride a couple of longer rides during the week. Ride gravel. Ride as much as you can. You will thank yourself when you reach the finish line and can walk and not throw up.

• You will need water…lots of it. We have been a witness to a human being riding this course with only two (2) water bottles (no re-fills). It is possible, but it is definitely not the case with most riders. It is dreadfully important to understand nutrition and hydration before undertaking an event like this. Train to understand. Train to eat on the bike. KNOW YOUR LIMITS and ACT ACCORDINGLY.

• You will need food. The human body is capable of amazing things. However, it is not able to do them without the proper nutrients. Bring food you know you will be able to eat. I have seen everything from pizza to beef jerky to candy bars to mike & ikes. KNOW WHAT WORKS FOR YOU and ACT ACCORDINGLY.

• Know your body. We get cramps when we ride for a long time. Through riding a lot and trying different remedies, we have been able to solve this issue and the cramps no longer occur. Know your body. Five to ten hours on a bike is a long time. Your body will let you know when it has had too much of something and mid-race is not the place to get introduced to each other. The more you ride now, the better off you will be when you are all alone and talking yourself back down from the proverbial ledge (we've been there during a race and it sucks, but KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and we're glad it happened).

• Pace yourself. You have 12 hours to ride 100 miles. Sure it’s gravel. Sure it’s hilly, but it isn’t impossible. Go as hard as you like, but if you do not know your body and your bike, you may end up in the “hurt locker” before you’re ready and that sucks...trust me.

: We are your hosts. Imagine this event like a giant group ride, complete with town line sprints and king of the mountain challenges. We have invited you all here, to start from the town that has embraced us and ride a route that we have found to be amazing.

• We will give you directions that we have found to work the best and send you on your way.

• We will not be there at every turn to make sure you are headed in the right direction.

• We will not close roads and arrange for the appropriate law enforcement agencies to police the course and ensure your safety.

• We will not cater to you because “you are the fastest and you are in the lead”. We will take every measure to ensure that the check-in and checkout process at the mid-way point is thorough and efficient, but we are humans.

• There will not be any electric timing devices (other than a stopwatch) used by us throughout the course of this event. Please do not dispute the times given by us. We promise to do the best we can with what we have.

• We will be at the start to ride everyone out of town and we will be at the finish to welcome you back. We are happy that you have decided to come and give the Almanzo 100 and Royal 162 events a try and we promise to make every attempt to make sure that your experience here in Rochester, Spring Valley and the greater Southeastern Minnesota area a pleasant one.

• We will not provide you a water/aid station at any point during the event. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN and should ACT ACCORDINGLY.

• We will not come get you if you become stranded. You must be prepared for the unlikely event that you should have to abandon the race. You must make your own arrangements for leaving the course should you become stranded. NO ONE IS COMING TO GET YOU UNLESS YOU’VE ARRANGED FOR IT.

: During the race you will be riding with 700 other people that have the same basic things in common.

• If you see someone stopped on the side of the road, ask if they “HAVE EVERYTHING?” If not, please stop and offer assistance. You may have an extra tube or some water or some food that might make the difference in someone finishing or not. It is common courtesy. If we hear that anyone neglected to help a fellow rider, we will have no problem calling that person out. Don’t be an ass and you’ve got nothing to worry about.

• Ride smart and expect the same from others. Group riding is much different than riding alone. If you find yourself in the peloton, please ride with care and be alert. The easiest place to crash is in the peloton and it is often times the worst place to crash. If you are not comfortable riding elbow to elbow with other racers, either ride off the front or off the back, but don’t risk injury to yourself and others by riding in the group when you are not capable or comfortable.

: Have fun. These are intended to be fun, but extremely challenging events. We have the perfect opportunity to represent the cycling world at large. We will be traveling through areas that rarely see this kind of bicycle traffic and we may startle some of the inhabitants there.





• DON’T BE AN IDIOT AND THE WORLD WILL BE A BETTER PLACE FOR IT. More people on bikes is a great thing and riding like a douche bag with no consideration for others is the easiest way to keep any non-rider from wanting to get on a bike.

• BE AN AMBASSADOR FOR THE SPORT. We have one chance this May to get it done right here in Southeastern Minnesota and it would be a shame to blow it.

RE: Start times

Regarding the start times, event windows and services available for the two events.

The Royal 162:
  • This event will start promptly at 7:00am. Riders will need to be checked in and making their way to the start line by 6:45am.
  • Day of check in begins at 6:00am and will run until 6:45am.
  • The riders of the Royal 162 will have 15 hours to complete the course.
  • This 162 miles course will pass through the communities of:
  1. Preston(mile 38, full services off the course)
  2. Harmony(mile 65, full services off the course)
  3. Granger (mile 101, no services)
  4. Forestville State Park (mile 125, water off the course)
  5. Cherry Grove (mile 138, no services)
  6. Wykoff (mile 149.5, to access Wykoff riders must ride 1 mile east of course, basic services)
The Almanzo 100:
  • This event will start promptly at 9:00am.
  • Day of check in will begin at 7:15am and run until 8:40am
  • The Almanzo 100 riders will have 12 hours to complete the course.
  • This 100 mile event will pass through the communities of:
  1. Preston(mile 38, full services off the course)
  2. Forestville State Park (mile 65, water off the course)
  3. Cherry Grove (mile 75.5, no services)
  4. Wykoff (mile 87, to access Wykoff riders must ride 1 mile east of course, basic services)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Re: Preston Clarification

Below is a map of the Preston Support Section. All riders for both events are allowed to meet any support they may have within the Red Portion of this map. If you've got questions, leave them in the comments section and we'll do our best to answer them promptly. Please keep in mind this support section is located approximately 38 miles into both events.

View 2011 Almanzo Support Map in a larger map

Information Update.

May 14th is fast approaching and we hope that you’ve been able to get out on the bike and put down some miles. For our part, there are a few things we’d like to mention to help you with your race-day/weekend planning.

On the spirit of being self-supported:

First and foremost, we’d like to remind you that this event is entirely self-supported. We will provide no aid stations and no sag for this event. You are very much on your own. Allowing friends, family, coaches, etc to follow you along the course provides an unfair advantage and will not be permitted.

That said, you can meet friends, family, coaches, sponsors or whomever inside the city of Preston (approx. mile 40). Any other non-racer assistance beyond this is outside of the rules and will result in disqualification.


a.) If you are inside the city of Preston and your non-racing friend hands you a water bottle full of whiskey, it is okay to take it.

b.) If you are on the course outside of the city of Preston and your non-racing friend hands you a water bottle full of whiskey, it is not okay to take it.

c.) If you are on the course and you are dying of thirst and make your way to a farmhouse or local tavern and ask for a whiskey, it is okay to take it as long as you re-enter the course at the point from which you left.

On navigation:

The courses for the Almanzo 100 and Royal 162 will not be marked and will take place on open rural roads. We will provide each rider with one full set of cue sheets (4.25” x 5.5”). These cue sheets will contain all of the directions needed to get you from start to finish. For those not familiar, there is an excellent article regarding reading cues and tulip notes on the Ragnarök blog.

There will be one checkpoint located in Forestville State Park where each rider will be responsible for having their bib number recorded by our generous volunteers. This is to ensure that no rider has cut the course and that all participants are honest in their efforts. If you should fail to have your number recorded we can only assume that you have skipped the checkpoint and, as such, you will not be recorded as a finisher for your event.

On registration & traveling to the race:

We will be having a pre-race sign-in at Glynner’s Pub (marked on Google map) in Rochester from 3:00pm to 9:00pm Friday evening, May 13th. This is a great place to pick up your packet, sign your mandatory release form (if you haven’t downloaded it here and signed it in advance) get something to eat/drink and meet your competition. Preregistering Friday evening will relieve you from the stress of signing in and racing to get ready for the start on Saturday morning. If you can arrive Friday evening things should go very smoothly for all of us on Saturday.

The map to Glynner’s also marks a couple other points of interest including a bike shop in Rochester where you can pick up any last minute supplies (tubes, levers, nutrition, etc.) and the location of my house for those that are camping in the yard.

On race day parking is going to be an issue. Parking is going to be an issue. Parking is going to be an issue. If and where possible, please carpool, as parking is going to be an issue. We will have volunteers ready to direct you to the correct space; just look for their red shirts. We will be parking cars from the back to the front according to their arrival. Please work with us on this one. I have included a Google map that will mark the space for overflow parking. It will be a short ride from the start if we need to use it, but your legs could use the short spin anyway. Long story short, arrive early so that you have plenty of time to get signed in and make the start line for the 8:45am pre-race remarks.

At the risk of being redundant, you will be traveling on open rural roads. While it should be minimal, there will be traffic on the course. Please ride within your limits, be aware of paved and blind intersections and ride with respect to those around you, racers or otherwise.

We are guests in Fillmore County, and the cities of Spring Valley, Harmony and Preston; we should behave as such to ensure that gravel racing continues. This includes leaving no trace. Please help us keep our home beautiful by not littering. Simply stated; pack it in, pack it out.

Also, there may/will be more specific information as we get closer and as it becomes available. Please check the blog frequently as that will be the forum for updates, course conditions and important notes from here forward. There will also be an announcement regarding the pre-sale of a second round of jersey, bibs and wind jackets.

Thank you very much for your interest and your continued support; this event is nothing without you. See you soon!


Chris Skogen


Stay tuned here for updates regarding important information as we move closer to race day. We will be providing information about the two routes and the services offered along them in the next day or so. Also, if you're interested in purchasing a 2011 Almanzo jersey, pre-sale information is available here.